For more than a decade, a game with Georgia Tech meant facing the triple option. For the first few seasons it was an offensive scheme that gave the Tigers fits. Once Brent Venables was hired as the Clemson defensive coordinator, that all changed. His defenses had mastered the art of shutting the triple option attack down.
Now with Paul Johnson out and Geoff Collins in, the Yellow Jackets are going from the option attack to a more traditional spread, pro style offense. Collins hasn’t officially named a starting quarterback but all signs point to Lucas Johnson, the redshirt sophomore who missed all of 2018 injured, being the guy. Tobias Oliver, last year’s starter, along with James Graham, both option quarterbacks, could see time in certain packages as well.
Tech has no shortage of running backs they can try and attack the Tigers new front four with. The backs can be dangerous in space, whether it’s running the ball or in the screen game, so expect to see them with the ball in their hands early and often.
In their spring game they used a lot of power, counter, inside and outside zone when running the ball. They used the backs a lot in the passing game with screens and swing passes. They’ll use the running plays to set up play action in an effort to take shots down the field, if the offensive line can give them the time.
The biggest thing on offense for the Yellow Jackets is the transition those offensive lineman are facing. They’ll go from the cut blocking associated with the option offense to more conventional blocking schemes, and that’s not an easy task. It’s an area the Tigers should be able to exploit, even with a new look defensive line.
The Jackets come into this one as 36 point underdogs. With all the changes on the offensive side, there could be a ton of growing pains in the first season of the Geoff Collins era. The schedule makers did them no favors by having them go on the road and face the defending national champs in the season opener. The Tigers may not cover the number, but it should still be a game they win comfortably.